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Assembly bypolls: Voting underway in 13 seats across seven states, high stakes battle in Bengal

In West Bengal, the stakes are high for both the ruling TMC, which is looking to capitalise on its improved performance in the Lok Sabha polls, and the BJP, which is seeking to leverage the significant leads it made in the four constituencies in the parliamentary polls.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: July 10, 2024 7:51 IST
Assembly bypolls, voting
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Representative image

Assembly Bypolls: Voting for by-elections in 13 assembly constituencies across seven states, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh, today (July 10). The polling process that started at 7 am will conclude at 6 pm. Some of the assembly seats undergoing by-elections were vacated during the Lok Sabha elections, while others became vacant due to the death of the sitting MLAs.  

This electoral exercise, the first since the Lok Sabha elections, will decide the fate of many veterans and some debutantes, including Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's wife, Kamlesh Thakur. 

The counting of votes for the bypolls will be held on July 13.

Key assembly seats going for polls

S.NO. States Seats
1. West Bengal Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala
2. Uttarakhand Badrinath and Manglaur 
3. Punjab Jalandhar West
4. Himachal Pradesh Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh
5. Bihar Rupauli
6. Tamil Nadu Vikravandi
7. Madhya Pradesh Amarwara

West Bengal bypolls

In West Bengal, the stakes are significant for both the ruling TMC, aiming to build on its strengthened performance in the Lok Sabha elections, and the BJP, seeking to capitalize on its substantial gains in the four constituencies during the parliamentary polls.

In West Bengal, the BJP and the ruling TMC are contesting on all four assembly seats. Three of these constituencies were won by the BJP in 2021; however, they were left vacant due to defections to the TMC. The fourth seat, Maniktala, became vacant following the death of sitting TMC MLA Sadhan Pandey in February 2022. The TMC won the Maniktala seat in the 2021 West Bengal elections while the BJP won Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin and Bagda. Later, the BJP MLAs switched to the TMC.

In Maniktala, the BJP has nominated All India Football Federation president Kalyan Chaubey as their candidate, who will be contesting against TMC's Supti, Pandey's wife. In Ranaghat Dakshin, TMC has fielded Mukut Mani Adhikari against the BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Biswas. In Bagdah, a Matua-majority constituency, TMC has chosen Madhuparna Thakur, daughter of party Rajya Sabha MP Mamatabala Thakur, as their candidate against the BJP's nominee Binay Kumar Biswas. In Raiganj, the BJP has fielded Binay Kumar Biswas against Krishna Kalyani.

Himachal Pradesh bypolls 

In Himachal Pradesh, bypolls will be conducted for three assembly constituencies: Dehra, Hamirpur, and Nalagarh. These seats became vacant after the resignation of three independent legislators—Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra), Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur), and K L Thakur (Nalagarh)—who had supported the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls held on February 27. Their resignations from the House were submitted on March 22.

The BJP has fielded the three former Independent MLAs from their respective seats after they joined the party. A total of 13 candidates are contesting the bypolls in the three segments with 2,59,340 voters.

The Congress' pick in Dehra is Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's wife Kamlesh Thakur. She will take on BJP's Hoshiyar Singh, one of the nine MLAs who had voted against the Congress candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls, and and Independent candidates Sulekha Devi, Arun Ankesh Syal and Advocate Sanjay Sharma 

In Hamirpur, the home district of Sukhu, former Independent MLA Ashish Sharma is pitted against Congress' Puspender Verma.

Former Independent legislator K L Thakur is facing old rival Hardeep Singh Bawa of the Congress in Nalagarh. The entry of BJP dissident Harpreet Saini, who is contesting as an Independent, has made the contest triangular.

Punjab bypoll

In Punjab, the bypoll for the Jalandhar West assembly segment is being viewed as a critical test for Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. He has exerted significant efforts to secure a victory for his party following their setback in the Lok Sabha elections. The seat, which fell vacant after Sheetal Angural resigned as AAP legislator, is witnessing a multi-cornered fight.

The ruling AAP has fielded Mohinder Bhagat, the son of former minister and former BJP MLA Bhagat Chunni Lal.  The Congress has placed its bet on Surinder Kaur, who is the former senior deputy mayor and five-time municipal councillor in Jalandhar while the BJP has fielded Angural, who switched sides in March after quitting the AAP. He had won this seat in the 2022 Punjab assembly polls on an AAP ticket.

Also Read: Assembly bypolls: Congress releases list of candidates for Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh

Also Read: BJP announces candidates for Punjab, Bengal Assembly bypolls



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